Saturday, August 3 2019

 Turkey Vulture

Vultures are very common in the Everglade areas and the Black Vulture is more common than the Turkey Vulture pictured here. Most birds don't have a well-developed sense of smell which is a trait of the Turkey Vulture. They seek carrion by soaring over open or partly wooded country, watching the ground and locating carrion by odor. Turkey Vultures are more timid than Black Vultures so they follow and watch the Turkey Vulture as it searches for carrion then will take the food for themselves leaving the Turkey Vulture to wait until it's had its fill.

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Sunday, August 4 2019

 Reddish Egret

This is only the second Reddish Egret I've seen in the past year or more, both in the Ding Darling Refuge on Sanibel Island, note the tracking device on its back. The Reddish Egrets were decimated by plume hunters in late 1800s. Reportedly not seen in Florida between 1927 and 1937, the numbers have gradually increased under complete protection. Current United States population roughly 2000 pairs. While populations have been recovering during the past century, this species is now threatened by the degradation and destruction of its preferred coastal habitat.

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 Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret is a small, compact, white heron with stout yellow bill, adorned with buff plumes in the breeding season.. Unlike most other egrets the cattle egret can often seen on dry land or following cattle or tractors in fields where it feeds upon insects flushed out of the ground. Their legs are red or yellow during the breeding season and black during non-breeding season. Breeding birds have redder bills and creamy patches on body.

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 Black Vulture

Black vultures are plentiful in South Florida and are primarily scavengers that spend hours soaring at heights. They mostly glide only flapping their wings there is need for it. They are said to be highly aggressive and are often chase away intruders. In order to find food they fly as low to the ground as possible to pick out the scent in the air. Their sense of sight is very good but their sense of smell is poorer than Turkey Vultures.

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 Urban Surprises

As should be obvious by now, I like to head to the Everglades & Big Cypress National Preserve to explore, learn about the area where I live and take photos. It's become an enjoyable pastime and Ive become fairly familiar with the area and stops along the way that I'll detail in future posts. Being the rainy season which, in this part of Florida, means torrential downpours, sunshine, torrential downpours, sunshine, and more torrential downpours then sunshine which is a time when it's easy to get surprised and soaked with little notice. With that in mind I decided to do a bit of urban photos since I had caught a glimpse of a bird I didn't expect to see so close to high-density living.

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